Monday, November 02, 2009

David Nutt is sacked from the ACMD

There's a lot of important issues raised by the ACMD chair's sacking, and the subsequent reaction. Transform have been actively engaging in the debate in a range of broadcast media, including 5 live radio, and BBC and Channel 4 news. We will have more to say on all this as the story develops over the next few days but in the mean time follow the media coverage in the Miniblog (on the right) or on Twitter.


strayan said...

Yet another case of "we're paying you to know better".

This has significant ramifications for people involved in producing new knowledge, because rather than reward those who advance our understanding of the world, the government is prepared to actively censure you if it doesn't suit their political agenda.

Unknown said...

I am sure you are really going to be earning your money this week (and that's not saying you don't the rest of the time) so it is good to know you are on top of this story. Thanks to all at Transform.(BTW I did not know that you were funded so generously by the pharmaceutical industry but Melanie Philips says you are so it must be true)

I still think this is principally about alcohol and young people rather than drugs policy as we have come to know it. David Nutt's position of evidence based risk assessment to inform drug control policy cannot be allowed to gain traction as it is a fundamental challenge to the idea that alcohol is safe but misused by irresponsible young people who get drunk ,fight, commit crime and then crash their stolen cars.
David Nutt's ideas are a potential threat to the Alcohol industry who still remember when young people preferred using MDMA and cannabis to drinking in the last recession. The industry thought they would lose a generation of new customers and persuaded the govt to get behind 24 hour licensing and self regulation. I am sure the government wants us all to drink our way out of this recession so of course David had to go

Ian S.

Anonymous said...

In this article, Jim Carey, a freelance journalist, investigates how the alcohol industry has responded to the threat of competition from ecstasy.

"Ignoring advice from almost the entire medical establishment, the Secretary of State for Health (Stephen Dorrell) raised his department's officially recommended weekly limits of alcohol by 33% in 1995. In response, Dr. Maristella Monteiro, a medical officer for the World Health Organisation, accused the British government of "being in the pocket of the drinks industry".9"

as the evidence Jim Carey points out in his book "Ecstasy Reconsidered" the alcohol lobby is clearly in control. It will be no different with the tories in power.

Corpgov rules OK?

chris said...

Mad Mel :

"This is part of a trillion-dollar global campaign to legalise drugs - in which certain pharmaceutical companies have a vested interest, since they stand to make a huge amount of money from the sale of cannabis, ecstasy and other drugs if they were to be legalised".

smokyfrog said...

Funny how Jacqui Smith and others are very content to listen to expert advice when it's about fiddling their expenses!

Owen H said...

Never has there been so much media spotlight on the Misuse of Drugs Act and the current policy of criminalisation of over 6m recreational drug users, the country's largest - and most silent - persecuted minority.

A significant swathe of media opinion has come out on the side of Prof Nutt and evidence based approaches. The rolling news channels carry the story day after day.

Yet the so-called "debate" in Parliament earlier on today on BBC News 24 was pathetic with both sides trawling the same Daily Mail prohibitionist line. As Prof Nutt said in the follow up phone in, it's hardly surprising people don't both to vote. Only Chris Huhne of the LibDems had anything worthwhile to say.

The expenses scandal, and now the Nutt debacle, clearly illustrate that the two party first-past-the-post system of Government is not fit for purpose. Nothing will ever change until the party political system is dismantled and a proportional representation electoral approach is implemented which allows individuals, and not political parties, to get elected to Parliament.

It never ceases to amaze me that a handful of lunatic journalists at the Daily Mail can enforce an ostrich like mentality on our so-called elected representatives and create and maintain the current Emperors New Clothes situation as regards to drugs policy. Even more amazing is the silence of the 6m recreational drugs users. Who just take their persecution with silence. There really should be a challenge to existing policy under the Human Rights Act. The Misuse of Drugs Act must be scrapped, all drugs must be regulated and controlled in a legal framework. The Misuse of Drugs Act is the most widely ignored Act on the statute books and brings the entire justice system in disrepute. It must be repealed.

John Moore said...

Ian, one of things that David didn't include in his published paper but did touch on in his lecture was his belief that
a) you could produce a 'safer' alcohol substitute product, and
b) that it would be classified as a drug and made illegal.


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Anonymous said...

In response to the video links;

My personal opinion is that the military industrialists realise that the legal high ie BZP pills, spice smoking blend and Mephedrone and RC markets are diverting their unaccountable budget in to accountable tax. So they make their government puppets dance to the tune of the news media and antidrug campaigners are antagonised and then the public awareness campaign role out and the government sides with the majority votes and thus their tool of perfect precision is executed and all chemicals slowly fall under the remit of the unaccountable income for them. What a flourless and beautiful Plan they have!

Good luck transform, hope you know what you’re up against.